True Star’s Summer Session is in Full Effect 

True Star’s summer session participants take part in a mobile film making course. / Photos: Marti Parham

True Star Media’s six-week summer session has started!

This summer, 85 youth from across Chicago are being employed by True Star Media in disciplines that include journalism, videography, screenwriting and movie production, cinematography, graphic design, social media and podcasting.

This year’s orientation kicked off at True Star headquarters in Bronzeville where youth and instructors held icebreaker conversations to get to know each other better. The rest of the orientation was spent at CineCity Studios Chicago where youth had the opportunity to be trained by media professionals in various areas.

“This was Filmscapes first youth program so what we are doing today is shortened versions of classes we usually offered in the past. What we did today was a production assistant class, a class on mobile film making, virtual production, photography, and we did a class on prop aging and weathering,” said Ned McGregor, Filmscape Chicago’s president.

Filmscape Chicago President Ned McGregor gets interviewed by True Star’s junior staff.

These experiences align with the True Star disciplines that prepare participants for employment through real world experiences.

“I think experiences like this are important because young people need to see where the professional level work really happens,” said Lateefah Harland, True Star video production instructor. “I think you have a lot of people from Chicago that are working on major productions here in Chicago so being able to communicate with them being able to build relationships, create and find people to mentor with; it’s important, it’s valuable, it lets you know that the future you see for yourself is obtainable.”

Youth learned outside of their usual disciplines and had a great time doing so. This wasn’t just an ordinary field trip; it was a learning opportunity and gave youth the chance to learn about careers that they may not have known about or considered in the past.

Students do a hands-on activity on prop aging and weathering.

“As I began to pitch more ideas and develop my involvement with True Star, I really want to be able to be a little more aware of the stuff I’m not seeing behind the scenes because usually I am the person doing the interviews or writing articles,” Jada Strong, a True Star freelance journalism student.  “So, I think it has been really helpful and I will in the future like to apply the skills I’ve learned.”

Stay tuned for the awesome content that comes from this group of youth this summer by checking out our web platform and Instagram.

By Cierra Lemott, Columbia College Chicago alumni

Instagram: @cece.kodak / @kodakscamera

X: @LemottCierra


*Taylor Anthony contributed to this article.


True Star Media’s content is made possible thanks to donors like you. By donating at you are helping to empower young creators and transform lives.

Written by Cierra Lemott

I'm a professional procrastinator and my hobbies include sleeping, eating, and Netflix binging.

Tacos and Tequila Fest Hits the Midwest

The Next Generation of the NBA is Here!